Hal­loween boasts a rich his­tory

The Prince George Citizen - The Citizen - Real Estate Weekly - - Real Estate Weekly -

Cos­tume-clad kids, bags of candy and jack-o’-lanterns are some in­deli­ble im­ages as­so­ci­ated with Hal­loween. Those im­ages may for­ever be linked to this beloved, fun-filled hol­i­day, which boasts a rich his­tory that varies depend­ing on where in the world you might be.

Cel­e­bra­tions around the world may not mir­ror those in the United States, where trickor-treat­ing young­sters travel from house to house in search of candy. But true Hal­loween en­thu­si­asts may be in­ter­ested to learn the his­tory of the hol­i­day and how it has changed over the cen­turies.

El Dia de los Muer­tos

In parts of Mex­ico and Latin Amer­ica, El Dia de los Muer­tos (The Day of the Dead) is cel­e­brated each year in early Novem­ber. The day is de­signed to honor the dead, who Day of the Dead cel­e­brants be­lieve re­turn to their earthly homes each Hal­loween. Fam­i­lies may burn can­dles and in­cense in an ef­fort to help their de­ceased rel­a­tives and an­ces­tors find their way home.

Guy Fawkes Day

For many years, Eng­land had rea­son to cel­e­brate around Oc­to­ber 31, but those cel­e­bra­tions did not mir­ror the Hal­loween fes­tiv­i­ties fa­mil­iar to those across the pond. While re­cent years have wit­nessed more and more Brits adopt­ing the Amer­i­can­ized cel­e­bra­tion of Hal­loween, for many the true hol­i­day this time of year will al­ways be Guy Fawkes Day. Cel­e­brated on Novem­ber 5, Guy Fawkes Day is a com­mem­o­ra­tion of the foiled Gun­pow­der Plot. Smith­so­nian notes that this was a failed at­tempt by dis­grun­tled Catholics to blow up the Bri­tish Par­lia­ment build­ing while King James I was in­side. Fire­works, pa­rades and bon­fires marked Guy Fawkes Day cel­e­bra­tions, which in re­cent years have grad­u­ally be­gun to trans­form into some­thing that more closely re­sem­bles Amer­i­can Hal­loween.

Samhain

His­tory.com notes that Hal­loween can trace its ori­gins to Ire­land. But those ori­gins did not in­volve gig­gling young­sters car­ry­ing plas­tic pump­kins around in search of candy. Hal­loween’s ori­gins can be traced to the Celtic fes­ti­val of Samhain. Samhain was con­sid­ered the Celtic New Year and was sa­cred to the an­cient Ir­ish. The fes­ti­val was cel­e­brated as the days be­came shorter, and of­fer­ings were left for the dead, who cel­e­brants be­lieved could cross over into the land of the liv­ing at this time. How­ever, they also be­lieved de­monic spir­its could fol­low such a path dur­ing Samhain, giv­ing the fes­ti­val the taste of the macabre that many still en­joy im­part­ing on their Hal­loween cel­e­bra­tions to­day.

Hal­loween has a rich and in­ter­est­ing his­tory that gals and ghouls from all walks of life might find in­ter­est­ing.

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